Carey Price faces one of the biggest games of his life tonight

Posted: April 6, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Carey Price being interviewed at the Canadiens fan practice. Photo by Brendan Kelly.

Carey Price being interviewed at the Canadiens fan practice. Photo by Brendan Kelly.

Really. Think about it for a second. We’re just a couple of weeks from the playoffs, first place in the Northeast division is on the line, and it’s time for the latest episode in the ongoing on-ice drama that is by far the greatest rivalry in the National Hockey League. I’m talking, of course, about the Bruins Canadiens match-up Saturday night at the Bell Centre.

Plus it’s Saturday night. Hockey Night in Canada. The night when the entire country grinds to a halt – okay I’m exaggerating a bit here but you get the idea – to sit down and watch the good old-fashioned hockey game. And it’s Bruins Habs. Don Cherry might even find time out from ranting and raving about the Leafs to mention the game in Coach’s Corner.

And this is quite simply a huge game for Carey Price. Pierre McGuire was on the Mitch Melnick show on TSN 690 Friday afternoon and was saying that Price will have to pull out a monster game tonight. And he’s right.

This is a statement game for Price. Think about it. There have been two meetings at the summit between these two teams in the last month. And both wins came courtesy of Habs back-up netminder Peter Budaj. On Sunday, March 3, coach Michel Therrien started Budaj, apparently not a decision Price was too pleased about, and the Good Guys pulled off an impressive 4-3 victory against the Men in Yellow and Black aka The Bad Guys.

Then on March 27 – in what us Habs fans now simply refer to as The Greatest Game Since the Spring of 2010 – Montreal won in the shoot-out thanks to our new hero Brendan Gallagher, who went five-hole on Tukka ‘I don’t even know how to break a stick properly’ Rask. But it was not a good night for Mr. Price.

Price started the game and had his worst second period of the season. He let in four goals in 14 minutes courtesy of a Bruins team that had only scored nine goals in the five games leading up to this Habs Bruins battle. In the kind of ballsy move no Habs coach in recent memory would’ve made – that’s why we’re really liking Therrien right now – the bench-meister gave Price the hook at the end of the second and put in Budaj, who was a major factor in the win.

He did let in one goal in the third but he was very good and even better in the shootout, standing his ground in front of six Boston shooters, not letting any rubber get behind him.

So Price, who is starting Saturday, has to win this game in defining fashion. If he loses, that’s gonna be the story-line when that inevitable Boston Montreal playoff series starts. Every columnist will be wondering who Therrien will start for the series and that is not a good thing for either Price or the team.

That debate will be stoked by the fact – I know you don’t like to hear it but it’s true – that Price has a downright horrible career playoff record. He has never had a good, never mind great, playoff run.

So he has to stone the Bs tonight. Man he almost needs a shutout. The one thing he most definitely doesn’t need is a loss.

Right about now might be the time for Price to steal a game, something he really hasn’t done this year. Just saying. And before you call me a Habs hater, I really am hoping he performs this grand hockey theft tonight.


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